Photo: Frankie Shlain
If you’re anything like me, you probably had big dreams when you graduated from college but had no clue how to get where you wanted to go.
Sure, you probably had some contacts from career fairs and maybe some friends of your parents who were willing to help you get that first interview. But after that, the rest is up to you. That’s when panic typically sets in and you don’t know if you’re a good fit for a specific company or if the company is a good fit for you. Also, you might nail the interview and get the job, only to realize it’s only a fraction of the job you thought it would be (I’ve been there, too).
It can be a difficult journey finding and landing your dream job or a job at your dream company. But about 2 years ago (about 5 years post college) I was lucky enough to land a job at my dream company: Google.
Do I have all the answers on how to land the perfect job? Of course not! And remember, there is no “perfect”. But I do feel that these below tips really helped me along the way and I hope they can do the same for you!
- It all starts with the resume. Make sure your resume is focused on what you accomplished, not what you DID. This will definitely help you stand out. Make results known and quantify your successes as much as possible. Nothing says you knocked it out of the park more than, say, increasing sales or membership by 100%. Go, girl!
- Network. I know, everyone says this, but it really is true. Don’t be afraid to attend networking events which are essentially glorified forums for interviews. Collect business cards and don’t be afraid to use them. Remember to use a specific anecdote from your conversation so the contact knows who you are. Not like- Hey! I was the one who spilled red wine on your white dress at the networking event! Good stories only.
- Prepare for the interview more than you think. Sure, you can review your past work experience all you want, but employers want to know how you’re going to react and behave in certain situations. Be sure you have concrete examples of times you overcame obstacles, when you demonstrated strong leadership skills and why you’re the perfect fit for that job. Practice answering questions in the mirror and remember that sometimes a long pause is okay while you’re thinking of an answer. And don’t forget eye contact and a good, solid handshake!
- Fit the mold. Of course, not in THAT way but make sure that you can tailor and translate your already sharp skills into the job requirements and be able to articulate what you could bring to the role that no one else can. Remember that even if you’re looking to switch gears in your career or move into a field where you have little classroom experience, make sure to capitalize on your already kick-ass skill set that you have acquired and figure out how those skills can be repurposed in the dream role.
- Have a little faith. I know it’s cheesy but if you project passion, drive and believe that you’ll get the job, it will definitely show and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how far it gets you. Potential employers want someone who will go above and beyond and not just tell them what they want to hear. Be authentic, be memorable and be you!
I hope you found these thoughts useful and that you have the best of luck in your job search!